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Misconceptions About Minimalism

A quick google search yields many results for misconceptions about minimalism. Instead of rewriting what has already been said, I will give links to those pages:

Becoming Minimalist

Be More With Less

Erica Shaw

The take away point here is that minimalism is different for everyone. If you love television, watch all you want; if you love shopping, shop away; if you love video games, play until your thumbs fall off. For me, I am trying to find my level of comfort. I don’t need to wear hats, but I feel comfortable in them. I don’t need to drive to school, but I already bought a parking pass so deal with it. I am going to push this experiment further (maybe in the summer) but for right now, I am not going to drastically change the status quo. So, my plan for the summer is to really investigate minimalism throughly. The main points I want to address are  my wardrobe and my eating habits. I will wash my clothes by hand and plan out healthy meals each week.

University vs Real World Art

There are limitations that student artists are held back by. Namely time limitations. Because of due dates, we as students need to find a way to create something original in a very short amount of time. For me, I feel like this project I am undertaking is still in its infancy. I still have a ways to go

Along with extreme lifestyle experiments, I also fancy futile feats of discipline. For example, one day in seventh grade social studies class, I literally stared at the second hand of a clock for ten minutes. Does that matter at all in the grand scheme of things? Of course not. But when you think about it, does anything we ever do matter? I’ll let you answer that for yourself.

Story time.

I first read this story on the internet when I was researching minimalism for my own enjoyment. It was a comment on a blog post about minimalism. Here is the link to that page: Minimalism Is The New Consumerism.

And the story:

“There was a man in India who was traveling on a train, and he had all of his possesion in a bag which was sitting in the luggage compartment above him. He was very tired, but couldn’t fall asleep for fear someone would steal everything he owned when he closed his eyes. After hours of fighting to keep his eyes opened he eventually closed his eyes, but shortly after he woke up again realizing he almost fell into a deep sleep. He checked to see if the bag was still there. The bag was gone. He yelled, ‘Thank Goodness! Now I can finally sleep without worrying about that bag.’ “

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Blogs as sketchbooks (drafts)

Who cares about what I have to say? A quick google search reveals many minimalist blogs. In fact, go to YouTube and/or Google and research this stuff yourself, you’ll better information there than here. I don’t mind a person with similar beliefs as me to find inspiration in this blog, but this whole thing is mainly for my personal investigations – like a SKETCHBOOK.

But if I may quote Kurt Vonnegut, “Many people need desperately to receive this message: I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people do not care about them. You are not alone.”

These are the pages from my sketchbook in which I brainstormed for most of my posts:

But I also currently have four drafts saved but not published. They are going to be titled: Socratic and Platonic Philosophy, Ralph and Henry, Things to do from Zen Habits, and Introversion.

Language.

I don’t think many people consider language to be beautiful, but if the right sentence is written, I believe that it can be the most beautiful form of expression. Stephen Fry is a master linguist, actor, comedian, and an all around British guy. He is the one who got me into enjoying language like I enjoy music. It is necessary to point out that Oscar Wilde seems to be the one who got Fry interested. I am yet to read any of Wilde’s work, but I can’t put down Fry’s autobiography.

Drive.

Gottcha. This post is not about driving at all.

It’s about the Nicolas Refn film Drive starring Ryan Gosling. As anyone who has seen this film knows, Ryan’s character is a man of very few word. In an interview I saw on imdb.com, Ryan explains that the audience is smart enough to know when two characters are in love, without them actually saying anything. As some guy probably said at one point, sometimes the best thing to  say is nothing at all.

And now for some more quotes on silence:

“The true genius shudders at incompleteness – and usually prefers silence to saying something which is not everything it should be.”  -Edgar Allan Poe

“Well-timed silence hath more eloquence than speech.”  -Martin Farquhar Tupper

“Silence is one of the hardest arguments to refute.”  -Josh Billings

And my personal favorite: “Don’t speak unless you can improve on the silence.”  -Spanish Proverb

Minimalism and Macintosh

There is a huge distinction I need to made: the difference between minimalism and frugalism. Minimalism, to me at least, has more of an aesthetic appeal, while frugalism is a money saving technique. If I was a frugalist, I would not be writing with a Mac right now. Instead of buying a sleek black sketchbook, I’d draw with my own blood on scraps of paper I found on the side of the road. Instead, one of the most important ideas of minimalism is to own quality items that are cherished and beautifully crafted. It sounds so consumeristic, but Apple and the Gap are some of my favorite companies because their products are made well and aesthetically pleasing. Recently, I lost my North face jacket. At first I was disappointed because I wore that jacket a lot, but now that I don’t have it, I don’t miss it. This realization makes me feel like I’m in a rut. I thought I was doing pretty good, but I didn’t need that jacket. What else am I overlooking?

Back to apple products. The iPhone. I’m on the fence about this one. On the one hand, I can get rid of 3 items I currently own and replace them with just one. Those items are: camera, mp3 player, and phone. One the other, I’m am doing just fine with my dumb phone and iPod. How sad is the dependence on technology in our world? It’s disgusting.

The last thing I am going to mention is how much I enjoy having a de-cluttered desktop on my Mac. On busy weeks I’ll save important files to my desktop and it’s gets messy. It is always a good feeling organizing or trashing those files, keeping the desktop completely clear.

Expansion?

How focused topic-wise do I plan on keeping this blog? It is mostly about minimalism for now, but there are other areas I want to write about. Music is topic I am interested in exploring – music as a collection of sounds. This is true for music I create as well as music I listen to on my iTunes or YouTube accounts. What ever happened to Ping? Anyone remember that? Ping?

I love eloquent, minimal language and don’t know why more people enjoy poetry. I see a post about language in the future.

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UnderConsideration.

A beautiful set of four blogs about design. I want as many people to know about this blog as possible because it’s so beautiful.

UnderConsideration. May I suggest checking out Brand New and Quipsologies first.

Also, check out The Needle Drop just for fun.